It is no secret that I am madly in love with Downton Abbey. It's the most wonderful series to have been on PBS Masterpiece since Brideshead Revisited. The Brits really know how to do these things, don't they? Downtown Abbey is about life with the aristocratic Crawley Family, Lord and Lady Grantham and their three daughters, in their English manor house during the Edwardian era. It is filled with drama and intrigue, and of course scandal that could ruin a young woman's life, involving a somewhat shady *gasp* foreigner. It's all there. The cast of the series is perfect, but none is more perfect than Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. She's an insufferable snob, still living in an earlier generation, but she steals every scene she's in with her wonderful one-liners. As soon as her Ladyship enters the room, we know we're in for some fun.
Lady Grantham: "You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal."
Mrs. Crawley: "I take that as a compliment."
Lady Grantham: "I must've said it wrong."
If you haven't seen Downton Abbey yet, you're in for a real treat. In the meantime, here are some of her Ladyship's one-liners.